Indeed, the agribusiness in middle America is one of the primary (if not the primary) causes of the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
The agricultural industry produces a huge amount of pollution, especially to water and soil. Much of this is due to the massive amounts of artificial fertilizers it uses to ramp up production. It also contributes to global warming, both through deforestation and emissions from livestock.
Milk run-off from dairy farms, pesticide residues (and concentrated solutions that are improperly disposed of), animal manure, and “silage liquor” (from decomposing grass)–often seep into soils and waterways, thereby disrupting the microbiology of the ecosystem. Polluted systems can, in turn, lead to an imbalance of species diversity and compromised wildlife.
Not only are waterways polluted by animal waste and fertilizer runoff, but just over 1/3 of all fossil fuels are used in the factory farming business. Meat processing plants, as well as trucks use massive amounts of energy, polluting the air.
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